Home Escape Plans
The Importance of Practice
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) emphasizes the need to continue planning and practicing home fire escape plans and to make sure everyone in a home can be awakened by the sound of the smoke alarm. NFPA suggests practicing the escape plan during which the smoke alarm is activated so all family members know its sound.
Every home fire escape plan is different, and every family should know who will, and who won't, awaken at the sound of the smoke alarm. If someone doesn't wake up when the alarm sounds during a drill, the family should design an escape plan that assigns a grown-up who is easily awakened by the alarm to wake the sleepers, perhaps by yelling "fire," pounding on the wall or door, or blowing a whistle.
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it.
- One-third (32%) of respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
In the event of fire, time is the biggest enemy, and every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Have escape plans to get out of your home quickly. Practice E.D.I.T.H. — Exit Drills in the Home — with your family.
Creating Your Home Fire Escape Plan
- Draw your home floor plan using a home escape plan template.
- Label all the rooms and identify the doors and windows.
- Plan 2 escape routes from every room.
- Provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.
- Agree on a meeting place where everyone will gather after you have escaped.
- Considering buying an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL)-approved collapsible ladder to escape from upper story windows. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
Practice Your Home Fire Escape Plan
- Review your escape plan with everyone that stays in the house, including children.
- Sound the smoke alarm.
- Practice crawling low beneath the smoke.
- Remember to check doors for heat with your hand; if a door is hot, do not open it.
- Close the doors as you leave.
- Practice with a collapsible ladder, if you have one.
- Go directly to your meeting place; do not stop to find your pets or valuables.
- Remember to GET OUT FIRST, then call 9-1-1 for help.
- Practice your plan at least twice a year. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll until the flames are extinguished.
- Replace smoke alarms older than 10 years.
- Change the batteries in the smoke alarms, every 6 months (when you change your clocks).
- Test alarms monthly by pushing the “test” button for 3-5 seconds. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
If You Live in an Apartment Building
- Learn and practice your building’s evacuation plan.
- Know primary and secondary exits.
- If you hear the fire alarm, leave immediately.
- Use the stairs. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>